Nike Inc. said Thursday that it will sell Cole Haan, the Scarborough-based maker of shoes and accessories, as well as its Umbro soccer brand to cut costs and focus on its namesake brand.

“Divesting of Umbro and Cole Haan will allow us to focus our resources on the highest-potential opportunities for Nike Inc., to continue to drive sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders,” said Nike Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker.

Cole Haan’s corporate headquarters is in the Roundwood Business Park in Scarborough. The company has about 100 employees in Scarborough, according to the Scarborough Economic Development Corp.

Cole Haan representatives did not return calls Thursday.

“We are grateful to have a company of their stature in Scarborough,” said Tom Hall, Scarborough’s town manager. “We’re hopeful that a company with their wherewithal will attract a vibrant buyer and that the new company will keep operations in Maine.”

Other footwear companies in Maine include L.L. Bean of Freeport, Perry-based Quoddy Trail Moccasins Co., Freeport-based Eastland Shoe Corp., Highland Shoe Co. of Brewer, Rancourt & Co. Shoecrafters of Lewiston and Falcon Performance Footwear of Auburn. New Balance of Boston has a factory in Skowhegan.

From the late 1800s to the mid- to late 20th century, shoe manufacturing was one of the largest employers in Maine. That sector has been eroded by competition from Asian manufacturers.

“It’s been 20 years since we’ve been a major presence in shoes,” said Charles Colgan, professor of public policy and management with the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine.

Colgan said 32,000 workers were employed in Maine’s shoe industry in the 1970s, but the number dropped to 10,000 in the 1980s and to less than 1,500 today.

Nike acquired Cole Haan in 1988 for about $95 million. Cole Haan moved its headquarters to Scarborough last summer, after about 35 years in Yarmouth.

“Companies that are successful are bought by larger, out-of-state firms and often the operations are consolidated where the larger facilities are. We’re hopeful that whoever buys Cole Haan would keep employees here,” said Harvey Rosenfeld, president and economic director of the Scarborough Economic Development Corp.

The acquisition of Cole Haan moved Nike into upscale leather goods and away from its core athletic niche.

Now, Nike sees more potential in its signature Nike products along with its Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands.

Nike spokesman Charlie Brooks told The Associated Press that Nike doesn’t have any buyers lined up, but hopes to complete the sales by the end of May 2013, when the company’s fiscal year concludes.

The number of Cole Haan employees in Maine has dwindled over the years. The company had 785 here in 1994, before it transferred customer service departments to Greenland, N.H. In 1999, it closed its shoemaking plant in Livermore Falls.

Umbro was founded in 1924 in Manchester in the United Kingdom as one of the first makers of soccer gear. Today, it also makes soccer clothing and shoes, and outfits many European and North and South American soccer teams. Nike acquired Umbro in 2008 for $582 million.

Both brands have recently weighed on Nike. In its most recent quarterly conference call, the company said revenue increased for Umbro, Hurley and Cole Haan, but their profitability fell, according to The Associated Press.

Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

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